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    #1

    hang on

    Hang on (phrasal verb meaning : wait)

    Is it a familiar expression (in the sense: not to be used in a professional context)?

    Thanks!

    Guillaume

  1. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: hang on

    It's a familiar expression, and may be perfectly acceptable in some professional settings. It would depend upon how you said it and under what context.
    Your name indicates that you may speak French so I'll take a chance and offer another explanation.
    Hang on = attends. If you wish to say the English equivalent of "attendez" and the situation does not permit you to "tutoyer", find another expression. "Please wait" is one possibility.

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    #3

    Re: hang on

    Hi John

    Thank you very much.

    Based on your helpful explanation, "attends" is indeed the perfect equivalent in French and now I know in which circumstances I can use this phrasal verb.

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    #4

    Re: hang on

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Guillaume:


    I think that many people here in the United States also say "Hold on."

    Personally, I think that it is very rude and that it should never be used.

    Maybe I am imagining it, but its use seems to be decreasing.

    On the other hand, when I call a company, the busy receptionist who answers might ask: "Can you hold?" At least that is

    a question, not a curt order as is "Hold on!"

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    #5

    Re: hang on

    For once, Parser, I may disagree with you.

    Well, if I have to be 100% honest, I use "hang on" all the time, especially while teaching. While I was working in NZ, even my Chinese students were making fun of me. It's colloquial, fair enough, but widely accepted.

    As for the phone, I think a receptionist would use it as part of the phrase "Could you hold (the line) please?".

    I was about to write you couldn't use it with your boss in a work environment, but then looking back on when I was working in English speaking countries I probably used it. Did I get away with it because I was a foreign speaker of English? I don't know, but I think it really depends on what kind of relationship you have with the people you're using it with.



    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Guillaume:


    I think that many people here in the United States also say "Hold on."

    Personally, I think that it is very rude and that it should never be used.

    Maybe I am imagining it, but its use seems to be decreasing.

    On the other hand, when I call a company, the busy receptionist who answers might ask: "Can you hold?" At least that is

    a question, not a curt order as is "Hold on!"
    Last edited by shannico; 23-Mar-2012 at 15:21.

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    #6

    Re: hang on

    Different habits are always interesting

    I take the opportunity to ask a question to TheParser:

    You said that in the United States people also say "hold on".

    Are "hang on" and "hold on" interchangeable?

    I thought that hold on was used for phone conversations while "hang on" could have a wider use...

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    #7

    Re: hang on

    I hear it and use it all the time. It can be rude, or friendly, depending on tone and context. Additionally, it can be used to introduce a new idea, and to me, in that instance it is not rude.

    1: What are we missing? I can't think of any other ....
    2: Hold on! I just had a thought!
    1: Good, because I was just about to give up!

    BTW, I believe hold on and hang on are interchangeable.

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    #8

    Re: hang on

    I nearly agree with Bob Smith. They are interchangeable.
    Just remember that we have no "formal or familiar form" in English, and context is our guide.
    When in doubt, as in French, I recommend the more formal option in a business setting.

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